How Actionstep is Embracing the Future of Work with Unlimited Paid Leave
Over the past two years, Actionstep—along with thousands of other companies worldwide—noticed a significant shift in the way employees and employers relate to one another. Perhaps most importantly, the pandemic highlighted the need for employers to support employee’s health and wellbeing in meaningful new ways. Here’s how Actionstep decided to address this need and test unlimited paid leave for all employees for a year—and why your firm or business might consider it, too. (Brag alert: We even went a bit viral in New Zealand with the announcement.)
Focusing on Flexibility
One trend the pandemic accelerated exponentially is the demand for flexibility in all aspects of work, including where, when, and how all of us get our work done. Businesses had to adjust quickly to a fully remote or hybrid model depending on the COVID restrictions in their specific locations. With school closures and remote schooling drastically affecting parents’ daily schedules, it’s also been important to account for flexibility in working hours. In fact, a recent Skynova study found that “nearly half of employees find a flexible schedule is more important than their salary.”
This focus on flexibility also underscores an evolution in the way employers are thinking about employee performance. If an employee is meeting their goals and succeeding in their role, the emphasis shouldn’t be on what time of day they did it or whether they were physically in the office. Actionstep believes that this flexibility should extend to paid leave as well. By not having to count the number of days off allowed, our team doesn’t have to worry about whether they can afford to take the time they need.
Working remotely or in a hybrid format is still fairly new to the legal industry. Tune into our upcoming webinar for tips and tools to manage your remote/hybrid team.
Another issue that rose to the surface across industries is an increase in workplace stress and burnout, which has been a huge contributing factor to the Great Resignation. In the legal sector specifically, burnout is at the root of a growing labor shortage and retention problem. It’s a complex problem that needs to be addressed holistically, but adequate time away from work is one piece that can make a big difference to restoring balance and engagement.
At Actionstep, we have been mindful of our employee’s mental wellbeing and believe the best way to address stress is to take preemptive action to support our team before burnout becomes a problem, including offering a comprehensive employee assistance program. Unlimited paid time off is another tool that allows employees to rest and reset as needed.
Part of this high-trust model means that our teams and managers need to collaborate closely and communicate effectively to ensure work is still covered and moves forward in each other’s absence. Time off shouldn’t mean that employees return to work feeling more stressed about the backlog of work or unmet deadlines.
The pandemic also made it clear that it’s smart to account for unpredictability in all facets of our business. This includes the amount of time that employees might need for anything from vacation to bereavement to sick leave. We want our team to feel supported throughout any of the professional or personal curveballs that might come along in the future.
Minimum Over Maximum Leave
Contrary to what you might expect, many of the other companies who’ve tested unlimited leave found that their employees actually took less time than before introducing the policy. To counteract this, Actionstep is establishing a minimum amount of four weeks PTO for employees each year. This makes it clear that time off, mental health, and overall wellbeing are priorities in our culture. As Actionstep’s Vice President of Engineering Stevie Mayhew shared with the New Zealand Herald, “The people are the business and this way we can ensure we have happy and healthy staff who can do their best in their jobs.”
Want to Work with Us?
Actionstep is a fast-growing, dynamic business with a global customer base and team, and unlimited leave is just one of the benefits we offer. Please check out our Careers page to learn more about us and browse our open positions—we would love to hear from you!See Job Openings
Written by The Actionstep Team
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